The Stephen King Sci-Fi Series You Can Binge Right Now Without Netflix

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

No name resonates with the same spine-tingling allure as Stephen King’s—whether in television, movies, or books. While Stephen King, the master of horror and supernatural narratives, has had many of his works adapted for the screen, a lesser-known gem deserves your attention: Haven. The supernatural drama series is loosely based on King’s 2005 novel, The Colorado Kid, and it provides a binge-worthy fix for those itching to dive into the maestro’s unmistakable horror mythos. 

A Town For The Supernatural

The TV series is set in a fictional town in Maine of the same name. Haven (the city) is famed for its picturesque setting—alongside a dark secret: the town serves as a refuge for people afflicted with supernatural abilities, referred to memorably as “The Troubles.” 

In typical Stephen King fashion, these afflictions plague the town in a cyclical, generational process; the arrival of FBI Special Agent Audrey Parker at the beginning of Haven marks the onset of the latest series of disturbances. Emily Rose stars as Parker, a talented actor in her own right, who is joined by her partner, local police detective Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant). 

A Destined Arrival

Parker and Wuornos unravel the increasingly paranormal narrative, while Parker learns Haven may harbor a personal link tying her to a mother she never knows. Eventually, Parker even quits the FBI to join the Haven Police Department. Much of the show’s arc revolves around her realizing that her arrival in Haven is destined and that her memories might not be “hers” after all. 

Other than its incredibly prolific originator, Stephen King, Haven was the work of its adapters, Jim Dunn and Sarm Ernst. The series was produced as an American/Canadian collaboration, filmed on the iconic (and beautiful) South Shore of Nova Scotia. Don’t let the scenic beauty fool you, however: the picturesque locale functions as a perfect platform for horror goodness, from terrifying weather patterns to The Troubles and their upending the very fabric of reality. 

The series first premiered on July 9, 2010, on Syfy and ran until December 17, 2015, spanning five seasons. 

Based On The Colorado Kid

Stephen King fans will especially enjoy how Haven often incorporates nods to his other literary works. First and foremost, the setting and general framework are inspired by King’s novella, The Colorado Kid, albeit featuring a different town name.

The Colorado Kid is a mystery novel published as an installment of the Hard Case Crime series. It is notable for steering away from strict horror and supernatural elements and instead embracing a more straightforward mystery. The story details the investigation into the identity and death of an unidentified man discovered on an island off the coast of Maine.

No spoilers here, but the novel inspiring Stephen King’s Haven utilizes the enigma of the so-called Colorado Kid—a nameless man found with a matchbook on his person from a diner in Colorado—to explore themes of truth, the unknown, and the nature of storytelling itself.

Haven Is Full Of References To Other Stephen King Titles

Haven also delightfully references many other works by the horror master. 

In one memorable instance, a character is handed a novel written, of all people, by Paul Sheldon, the author subjected to such brutal “nursing” in King’s 1987 Misery. Moreover, another storyline features a character just released from Shawshank Prison. 

The references in Stephen King’s Haven don’t stop there. In one beloved episode, “A Tale of Two Audreys,” a scene depicts a boy in a yellow raincoat chasing a newspaper boat down a gutter stream—a direct homage to the notorious beginning of King’s 1986 novel, It, which itself inspired several compelling films and TV series.’

Stephen King’s Haven also shouts out It via the fact that Parker comes to the town every 27 years, mirroring that novel’s cyclical terror. There’s also an episode where a character involuntarily morphs into peoples’ deepest fears, at times appearing—yes—as a killer clown. 

Sound familiar? 

Where To Stream Haven

Critical responses to Stephen King’s Haven were somewhat mixed. Rotten Tomatoes maintains a low approval rating, for example, and Metacritic isn’t much warmer. Regardless, the series found an audience, earning praise from horror and sci-fi fans for its striking setting, effective performances, and engaging mix of supernatural and crime procedural elements.

For those desiring a solid series without logging into a Netflix account, good news: Haven is available on multiple streaming platforms, including Tubi

So, for several seasons of compelling Stephen King-inspired content, stream Haven today.